They shed. You have to watch where you step in the yard with a dog around. They
loll around on your furniture and eat your running shoes. They drool.
training them, they’ll wrap you around a lightpole or drag you through the
boxwoods chasing cats or squirrels. They knock you down when you come home or
jingle the car keys. They suffer mysterious hearing losses when you say,
“Down,” but whisper the word “food” in the next room and bam, they’re
right at your feet, grinning.
You bath them, groom them, pony up for vet bills and food and treats. If you have
more than one, you become a pro at breaking up spats. Face it, having a dog
means countless hours of work, sweat and money.
understand us best, and we have a pretty good idea what’s going on inside their
furry skulls, too. We relate. It’s a relationship that’s enriched us both for
at least 15,000 years.
(and likely for thousands of years before) canines were by his side. Through
history they’ve hunted and retrieved for us, they’ve herded our livestock,
they’ve guarded our wickiups, huts and homes. They’ve gone to war with us.
made them stars: Lassie, Rin Tin Tin, 101 Dalmatians. The comedian W.C. fields
refused to work with kids or dogs because they stole his scenes.
with animal shelters struggling to stay open because of a tide of cast-off
bombs, they find the lost. Just petting a dog is therapeutic, health
researchers say, and they’re used in hospitals and nursing homes. Some can
sniff out cancer cells.
lives feel more complete with a shaggy smile in it. Many of us pamper our furry
pals. Americans spent $38 billion last year on their pets, and only about 40%
of that on food. There’s also pet beds, grooming aids, rain coats, car seats
and an array of bones, toys and treats.
The more we learn about these fascinating creatures, the more we realize what
they’re capable of — and that dog ownership is a major responsibility.
all their lives or stuck in a pen makes them prisoners, not companions. They
thrive on being close to us. And we thrive too.
people and surprises so they’ll behave when they go with us. We have to train
them, teach them the rules. And we want to do it in a way so we’re both still
recent headlines, we’re becoming more careful what we feed them and many of us
are learning to be animal nutrionists as well as the Hurler of The Frisbee.
Please visit http://www.herald-citizen.com/ for more information on the
newspaper. We thank the Herald-Citizen
staff for allowing FFBF to re-print this piece.